Thursday, July 23, 2009

I know he's an attorney and I know he's your uncle... but DON'T do it!

So here's the scene... The buyers want to buy a house in Albany, NY. They are using a local Realtor and that's all cool. When they find the house that fits they tell the Realtor their uncle, who is an attorney from back home where they grew up, will write up the offer. Now, around these parts, the real estate agents write up the offers. In some parts of the state and the country, it is otherwise, but in the Capital Region it's the agents that do the contract.

What does the agent do? It is very difficult to tell a client that their uncle, who is all well meaning and good, that this is not a good idea. Especially if this uncle is planning on using the agreement that is customarily used in his area. It confuses people. In fact it often has features and clauses that the local Realtors have never seen.

What do people do when they see something they are are not familiar with? They back away. We, obviously don't want that reaction from the sellers, but sometimes we can't talk them off the wall.

Simple approach: When in Rome... do as the Romans do. Simpler approach: Use a local attorney familiar with the ins and outs and the idiosyncrasies of the area you're purchasing in... It will be in your best interest in the long run!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


You know, I had an opportunity the other day to visit some folks who were considering selling their house. They had been given my name by a past client and they wanted to meet me. So, I went to their place and they gave me the tour. And we talked about what they wanted to do. In the course of our meeting I explained what my role was, what resources I had available to me and what I would do for them.

They told me, on the way out that they were also going to interview another agent. I know most of the agents who are "really" in the business, as I have been doing this since 1982. I did not recognize the name and they told me that she was a friend and co-worker who does this part time.

Now, I told them I don't blame them for giving her a shot. In fact, I would expect that a prudent person would interview more than one agent. But I also told them that I have in the past, observed people use someone else, for various reasons... "they're my friend"... "it's my brother's neighbor"... "they gave me a really good rate".... That kind of stuff. And I have had times when I genuinely felt sorry for them, because I knew that they would not get as good representation as they deserve. This also happens from time to time when one of my agents tells me the seller (or buyer) chose to work with someone else. I KNOW we can do the best job. I also have become aware of individuals and organizations who do not seem to embrace the same work ethic as we do. I, however, would never throw anyone in... it's just not very classy and I feel is bad business.

So I told my wife about what I said... I tell her EVERYTHING. She said that would have turned her off. Now, my daughter who is 25 was listening in and she said that she would want to hear that. She pointed out to her mother that you want someone who is confident.

So, that is what I'm blogging to you today... Look for confidence in your agent. Someone who KNOWS they can get the job done. You might be paying a little more than others might charge, but you want someone to get the job done and get it done efficiently and in in a timely and professional manner!

Good luck... email me or call me if you have any questions or thoughts!